The function of PR in Singapore
The roots of the public relations (PR) practice can be traced back to 1965, when Singapore regained its independence from its British colonists. Understanding the strategic location of Singapore, multi-national corporations began to set up their offices over here. The early role of PR practitioners – according to a research study conducted by Selina Lim, June Goh and Krishamurthy Sriramesh in their report ‘Applicability of the Generic Principles of Excellent Public Relations in a Different Cultural Context: The Case Study of Singapore’ – was to ‘keep stakeholders in the Western countries informed of the health of MNCs operating in the city-state rather than communicating with the local audiences.’ As shown, the PR practice is Singapore has had more than 40 years to grow but has the industry evolved into what true PR embodies? PR is the function of communicating with a corporation’s publics and through mutual understanding, propel the corporation to greater heights? In my opinion, the key function of PR practitioners and sectors leans more towards the technical side, rather than a strategic one. A browse at www.jobsdb.com, one of Singapore’s leading jobs portal revealed that PR and marketing were grouped under the same category. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to think that both of them serve the same function. A further look into the job scopes of careers in that particular section showed that a public relations executive, among other things, has to perform marketing duties such as monitoring advertisement budgets. Duties associated with PR are, for the most part, involved with management of communication within the organization – preparing content for the organization’s weekly newsletter,...
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